Our relationship at times has been strained but my respect for his talents has never followed suit. In his wide & varied experience & in his many travels, he has painted, sculpted, tattooed, played music, cooked & baked, repaired accordions, opened galleries & restaurants, been in more bands of so many many different genres & temperaments, elated, infuriated, raised rabble, & basically has always left any place he has been with a little more imagination & inspiration that it previously had.
Thirty years ago, he held me down, dangled his saliva over my face & made me scream in a high-pitched manner that would for some reason make our cat bite my face repeatedly. Twenty years ago, he put ink to my breast, indelibly marking me with a Native American badger symbol that signified more about our relationship that the actual meaning of the marking. Thirteen years ago, he cooked for my wedding & played guitar as my beautiful bride walked down the grassy aisle. Now he flies into town once a year to play a concert in our garage with my soon-to-be nine year old, allowing our precocious aspiring musician to act as lead singer, guitarist & overall ringmaster whilst behind the amp, JD makes sure the band stays tight & true to my boy's vision.
During this time, we have consoled each other over lost loves as well as shared joy in current ones, we have argued bitterly in cars & on street corners, we have written, drawn & painted together, traversed the country, narrowly avoiding ugly arrests down south as well as watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon, celebrated each other, accused each other, loved & hated each other at different times & sometimes at the same time, our relationship has grown & receded in fits & starts, we have talked but perhaps never really talked...
Today is my brother's birthday, & because I have this little piece of Internet real estate, I can wish him the happiness & joy he so truly deserves in a very public way & hope that the pleasure his oh-so-many talents have brought oh-so-many people are reflected back unto him on this day & every day hereafter.
& because you, dear reader, sat thru the above (& perhaps to embarrass my darling brother), I give you a real rarity from his vast oeuvre, dating all the way back to the 80's, when he was just an insolent pup playing a mean guitar, backing up a local celebrity madman named Jigs. This track, long-forgotten but still potent, comes off of a compilation (notable at the time for its inclusion of then-red-hot band, "The Smithereens"), "East Coast 60'S Rock And Roll Experiment", a collection of local punk & otherwise inclined bands covering 60's tunes (hence the title). So, without further ado, Jigs & The Pigs lettin' us know "These Boots Are Made For Walking"~